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On the Path: My Teacher Training Journey Part 2
Seven weeks in and 188 hours later, we are less than a long lazy night of sleep away from completing the full 200 hours of level one teacher training. And I am anything but asleep. The light of awareness is blazing bright. Life’s little questions become clearer, my chaturanga is rocking (my rotator cuff thanks me).
The soreness from week one never went away, but my relationship to the aching tissue did. It is no longer seen as an uncomfortable or inconvenient sensation in my body, but the physical proof of transformation and change occurring at the cellular level. As many gung-ho yoga trainees, you feel like you should do a chaturanga with every vinyasa and find the full expression in every pose. Your ego is in the driver’s seat saying “this is what a yoga teacher should look like.” There is nothing more humbling than your body talking back at you and saying “no more, I’m out.”
It’s sukha dukha, ease and suffering. Some days I could pump out sun salutations, others I was in a fetal position for half of the class. And that is okay. At least, now I know that. And that is the biggest lesson of what it takes to be a good yoga teacher. The struggles in our own practice allow us to guide our future yoguinea pigs through the challenges they will face on their mat.
I am beyond grateful to family, friends and my Nadi Yogi sangha for enlightening me with their love and support while I navigate these deep waters. I’ve learned so much from you all. Thank you.
This training has taught me to take care of myself and listen, pay attention to what my body is communicating to me physically, energetically and emotionally. That I am stronger on each of these levels is beyond my wildest imagination. When I thought the journey began seven weeks ago, I couldn’t have been more wrong. This has only been the warm-up, the real journey begins now.
See you on the mat! Namaste.
On the Path: My Teacher Training Journey
This is your mission, should you choose to accept it. That’s how the first day of yoga teacher training feels like. At least for me. During orientation, bright eyed and bushy-tailed yogis gather to have the next eight weeks prescribed to them. Bye-bye Friday nights. Adios sugar and most things you enjoy eating (and drinking). See ya later everything I thought I knew about yoga. And so the journey begins.
I’m not sure if it’s the combination of intense asana practice; practically one class daily and having to double up some days if you have a day job that gets in the way like most people (and thank you day job for funding this lovely experience). Or perhaps it’s the reflective reading assignments delving into mind-bending subjects such as meditation and mindful living. Or better yet, the cleansing, karma-free diet that takes you on a detox rollercoaster, effects ranging depending on how good you’ve been before starting training. And I am no saint.
Who really knows what triggers some of those initial emotional experiences, but teacher training is like spiritual bootcamp. To quote one of my teachers, we’re “souljahs”. We invite stress to the mat, so we can be prepared to handle the stress in our daily lives. And it is nothing short of a calling from something much bigger than ourselves to buckle down and complete 200 hours of self-exploration. Just as much as the journey is outward turning our schedules, diets an, it is equally inward. I’m sure somewhere down the path where I will ask myself amidst a painfully long-held Vira II, “What the heck was I thinking?!”. This is all part of the journey. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Right? I like to think so. Now that I am in week three of eight, I can only imagine what growth and learning await for me on the next date with my sticky mat.
To sum it all up, one of my fellow trainees found this great article on what teacher training is: “You wake up to the power you have to go into the laboratory of your life experience and mix the potions you want to create your best life going forward!”
The journey begins! Namaste.
Lara was bitten by the yoga bug many years ago while recovering from a half-marathon injury. It was that bittersweet turn of events that led her to find refuge on the mat. A nomad and seeker at heart, it is in good ol' Austin and through the practice of yoga that she is (finally) putting down roots.